Istanbul ‘s hopes rising as Rome is out of the 2020 Olympic Games race

Istanbul, Turkey 2020 Olympics bid submitted with high hopes ( for the 5th time)
Istanbul, Turkey 2020 Olympics bid submitted with high hopes ( for the 5th time)

Turkish National Olympic Committee submitted Istanbul’s 2020 Olympic bid file to the International Olympic Committee with rising hopes, a day after Rome pulled out of the 2020 Olympic Games race with economic woes.

Istanbul / NationalTurk – Istanbul is bidding for a fifth time after failed attempts for the Olympics in 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012.

Senior bid official Hasan Arat highlighted that Istanbul had several advantages over rival cities Tokyo, Japan; Doha, Qatar; Madrid, Spain; and Baku, Azerbaijan, other candidates for 2020 Olympic Games host.

‘ The 2020 Olympic Games race will be a long and hard one,’ Arat told. ‘ But Istanbul prepares very well. It is very different from our past candidacies.”

Istanbul, Turkey 2020 Olympics bid submitted with high hopes ( for the 5th time)

Hasan Arat expressed the submission letter comprised Turkey’s detailed plan for the 2020 Olympic bid, including the already prepared facilities along with transportation and accommodation lay-outs.

Turkey’s 5th submission for 2020 Olympic Games comes on the final day for application files and guarantee letters to be submitted to the International Olympic Committee based in Lousanne, Switzerland.

The IOC executive board in Quebec City will decide then which cities are approved as official candidate cities for 2020 Olympics Game in May.

Rome is out of Olympic Games 2020 race as Italy suffers from economic problems

A day before the deadline, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti withdrew Rome as a candidate to host the 2020 Olympic Games, describing a planned bid as ‘irresponsible’ given the current economic problems Italy faces.

‘ After a difficult evaluation we’ve arrived at the unanimous conclusion that the Italian government believes it would not be responsible in the current conditions in Italy to take on these guarantees,’ declared a defeated Monti in a press conference.

‘ We don’t feel capable of taking on a financial commitment that could burden Italian economy over the coming years. In another moment of history we could have carried the risk hosting the Olympic Games, but not now.’

Turkish National Olympic Committee executive Hasan Arat refused to comment on whether Rome’s withdrawal from the race boosted Istanbul’s chances. ‘ It is not right and ethical for us to talk about other candidates right now,’ Arat ordered.

Spain Italy financial crisis blocking Rome and Madrid’s 2020 Olympics candidacy

While Spain is also embroiled in a severe financial crisis, Alejandro Blanco, the head of their National Olympic Committee, told AFP they would not be following in Rome’s wake.

‘The withdrawal of Rome changes nothing for the candidacy of madrid, Spain’ stated Blanco.

“It is not the time to be talking about that.” Madrid, which came second to Rio de Janeiro for the right to host the 2016 games, has at least 80 percent of the required infrastructure already built or nearly finished after their two losing bids for the 2012 and 2016 games.

Mario Pescante, the president of the Italian Promotion Committee for Rome 2020, admitted this was a bitter pill to swallow.

“We’ve lost a great opportunity but we can only accept the government’s decision. There’s a lot of bitterness,” he said.

“The government’s decision was well thought out and was due exclusively to economic motives. Our project for Rome 2020 was very serious but our government was immovable on the accounts. It’s a shame because it was a unique opportunity not least to say to the young that we have big ambitions.”

Istanbul, bidding for the fifth time in the last six bids, is also highlighting Turkey’s sharp economic growth last year of about 8.0 % as proof that the Turkey can shoulder the financial burden of the Olympic Games.

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